The Chicago Bears’ season can really be divided into two contrasting segments- BS and AS: ‘Before (Montez) Sweat’ – and, based on how they were playing, the other meaning of that acronym, and ‘After Sweat’. The defense looks like what General Manager, Ryan Poles, would have actually been envisioning since the arrival of Montez Sweat at the trade deadline this year.
Since then, not only has head coach, Matt Eberflus’ defense been statistically better, conceding fewer than 18 points per game, down from a whopping 27.3 before Sweat’s arrival – but they have a winning record (4-3) – since the Chicago Bears gave up a 2nd round pick to the Washington Commanders for his services.
As for Eberflus, it looks like, despite some early calls for his dismissal, that he is not going anywhere for the moment, per Underdog NFL.
Rap: HC Matt Eberflus expected to remain with Bears in 2024.
— Underdog NFL (@Underdog__NFL) December 31, 2023
What Does This Mean For The Chicago Bears?
The Chicago Bears are in a historically rare good spot – they are not only showing bona fide improvement on both sides of the ball, but are also on course to get the first overall pick, per their trade with the Carolina Panthers in 2023. This gives Chicago the opportunity to draft one of the top QBs in this year’s draft, Caleb Williams or Drake Maye – and still have a high-ish pick to use on a defensive end or offensive lineman, at least one of which should be available when the Bears pick in and around the 7-13 range in April.
However, this decision perhaps points to a different direction taken by management, as, with one glaring exception, rookie quarterbacks tend to develop quickest and best with sharp, offensive minded head coaches. And Eberflus is notably a defensive minded coach, who is not vastly involved with the offensive going-ons of the team.
And of course, there is the improvement of Justin Fields over the past month, which has lead to calls from Chicago Bears fans to keep Justin Fields, and instead trade down from their likely very high Carolina-traded pick, and use it to surround Fields with top weapons and an even better defense to see the team continue to progress in 2024.
The Bears will be in an excellent position come the end of the season, regardless of how strongly the Panthers finish in their final two games. How Chicago proceeds, however, could well decided their fate of their franchise for the next decade.